The evening began with a presentation given by Renee Stonehocker on the topic of Homeopathy. Renee is a parent of four children and has three grandchildren. She is an advocate of natural health and nutrition, has been using homeopathy for 30 years and consults on homeopathy at Capitol Drugs, a pharmacy for alternative therapies.
She is a La Leche League Leader and a proponent of natural childbirth and attachment parenting. Believing in wellness, not just an absence of disease, Renee advocates the empowering of parents and families to make their own choices in health care and other areas of their family's lives.
Renee has a background as an educator, and has taught workshops on communication skills to parents and La Leche League Leaders. She also home-schooled her children through primary and high school.
Before I go onto to share what Renee had said throughout the evening, I wanted to give a brief history and description of Homeopathy that I derived from a couple of websites.
*Homeopathy has been practiced in the United States for over 170 years. Homeopathy is the preferred medicine by members of the Royal Family in England and homeopathy is widely prescribed by physicians in Europe and Asia. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) is considered the Father of Homeopathy. A physician, scholar, teacher and scientist in Germany. Hahnemann coined the term "homeopathy" from Greek terms, meaning similar suffering, to denote the basic law of similars.
**Homeopathy is a medical science developed by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), a German physician. It is based on the principle that “like cures like”. In simple words, it means that any substance, which can produce symptoms in a healthy person, can cure similar symptoms in a person who is sick. This idea is referred to as the “Law of Similars”, and was understood by Aristotle and Hippocrates and mentioned in ancient Hindu manuscripts. It was Hahnemann, however, who turned it into a science of healing.
Here are examples of this principle:
a. An onion is a substance which makes your eyes water and your nose burn. If you are having an attack of hay fever with watering eyes and a burning nose, a homeopathic remedy made from onion can relieve it.
b. Poison ivy causes redness, intense itching, burning, blistering and sometimes stiff muscles. Homeopathically it has been used for everything from herpes and burns to eczema and arthritis.
c. When you are stung by a bee you feel a burning, stinging pain and the tissues surrounding the area swell up. Some relief is gained from applying cold to the area. If you had swollen tonsils with burning and stinging pain relieved by cold, a homeopathic remedy prepared from the same source could cure.
A second principle of homeopathy is that you should give the least amount of medicine necessary to evoke a healing response. This is called the “Minimum Dose”. We all know that normal medicines can cause side effects, leading to much suffering or even death. In an effort to prevent side effects, Hahnemann began successive dilution with agitation of his medicines, to find the point at which they would be therapeutic, but not toxic.
Another wonderful resource that I found online gave an in-depth description of homeopathy along with descriptions of potency and the difference of potencies. This same website also gave a wonderful breakdown of the following:
- Classify symptoms to determine dosage
- Evaluate and record symptoms
- Dosage guidelines
- Intervals between doses
- How to modify dose and when to increase or decrease dose
- What is an aggravation and how does it help determine dose?
*Quoted from History of Homeopathy
**Quoted from What Is Homeopathy
Okay now that I gave you a little bit of an idea what Homeopathy is, let's continue onto what Renee shared with us:
Homeopathy is used for both acute and chronic conditions. Renee isn’t a trained homeopathic but she has been using it for over 30 years and has been working at Capitol Drugs for about 8 years now. Homeopathy treats the whole person – it’s not just about one part of the person that gets treated. Remedies are also tailored to what the individual is going through. For instance, what are you eating, your emotional state and other aspects of your life are looked at, as well. There is a difference between consulting a homeopath for constitutional remedies and what Renee offers. What Renee would use is more of clinical, whereas a classical homeopath would sit down with you for an hour or so and even go into genetics of your family and then come up with a constitutional remedy.
What Renee loves about homeopathy is that it is diluted and very safe. It can be used for babies, children, adults, and animals. Homeopathy uses natural remedies: plants, venoms, even crushed ants for instance. Basically anything in nature has healing properties that homeopathy can use. It’s an energy medicine which Renee likes to use the analogy that it is like a finger print. There is something left of the original substance, the soul of whatever remedy that is being diluted.
Most homeopathics are designed to dissolve under the tongue. They are small pellets. Hylands is great for children because they dissolve quickly under the tongue. Boiron are like little beebee’s which are harder pellets. When manufactured, the remedy is shaken/pounded and then the medicine is poured onto the pellets so the medicine is on the outside – which is why they say not to touch it with your fingers because the oils on your fingers could change the properties of it. So it is best to put the pellets in the cap and then put it under your tongue to dissolve.
There are other forms of homeopathy that come in the form of liquid, as well as topical. Most topicals are for healing cuts on the skin (i.e. Calendula), muscle soreness and bruising (i.e. Arnica gel). There are so many remedies, single and combination remedies, as well.
Because homeopathy is a sensitive medicine or an energy medicine (as mentioned above), certain things anecdote it/cancel the remedy out. Which is why they say to not drink or eat anything 15-20 minutes BEFORE taking the homeopathic AND 15-20 minutes AFTER. And then there are also some remedies that actually anecdote each other, such as Belladonna and Aconitum Napellus (also known as Aconite). Which is why it's best to speak to a specialist or look it up in a homeopathy book or online.
Dose floating is beneficial for when you have a chronic issue where you give the remedy every 15 minutes and lasts within an hour. This is suggested for when you want the remedy to work quickly. As homeopathy is repeated, it is more effected. It's an imbalance, a dis-ease - the remedy stimulates you to get back into balance. If you're not sure if a remedy is working, try it for a full day and if symptoms don't change, then you can try a different remedy (again this is where you would seek a professional or your homeopathy book to see what other remedies can assist).
One thing that families always seem to be concerned about is when a child has a fever. The biggest issue is when the fever spikes but to prevent a convulsion occurring, you can give a remedy, such as Aconite. In healthy kids, fevers usually don't indicate anything serious. Although it can be frightening when your child's temperature rises, fever itself causes no harm and can actually be a good thing — it's often the body's way of fighting infections. Often parents try to give Tylenol or medication to bring down the fever when instead they could give homeopathics to assist with it. And not all fevers need to be treated. High fever, however, can make a child uncomfortable and worsen problems such as dehydration. If the child is so miserable and uncomfortable then there are times when you do need to get the Tylenol out or go see the doctor for antibiotics and there's nothing wrong with that. But what's nice about homeopathics is that you can start that first to see if that helps and maybe you won't have to get that point of having to take other medications.
If you have to give antiobiotics, there is a particular form of a probiotic that you can give that won't kill the good bacteria in your body. This is called Saccharomyces boulardii (which is a tropical strain of yeast first isolated from lychee and mangosteen fruit). They make one for kids called Florastor Kids.
One topic that was discussed in great detail was ear infections. Since there were so many questions in regards to this topic, I felt it was important to list the remedies.
One of Renee's favorite remedies is Aconite. In the early stages of getting sick, such as getting a tickle in your throat, take Aconite every 15 minutes for the first hour. So first try Aconite to see if perhaps it's the child coming down with a cold. Renee prefers this over Oscillococcinum because Oscillo is catered more towards mainly the first signs of flu symptoms whereas Aconite is used for the first signs of either a cold or flu.
Aconite is also great for panick attacks, a shock, sudden onset (especially when exposed to wind or cold), good for croup. There's a saying: "When in fright, give Aconite!"
If after trying Aconite and your child still has an ear infection, then try Belladonna. Belladonna is used for anything that is red, hot, swollen, throbbing, a high fever that comes on, someone that is incoherent from the fever and night terrors to name a few.
Other remedies for ear infections:
1) Take your child to see a chiropractor to get adjusted. You want to make sure that it is a chiropractor that specializes in children.
2) Onion Earmuffs.
Indications: Use to soothe and promote healing of minor ear aches due to infection.
How It Works: Aromatice oils from the onion decrease pain and are anti-microbial.
- Slice a fresh onion in half.
- Place in a microwave for 1 minute or a conventional oven on 400 degrees for about 10 minutes
- Handle onions with oven mitts and place open faced as close to the ears as possible without becoming too hot. Do not touch the onions to the ear as this may cause a burn. Onions can be wrapped in cheesecloth or other porous material if necessary.
- Hold the onions in place for 20-30 minutes. Repeat as often as desired.
A couple of great resources that I found online in regards to ear infections are:
1. Homeopathic Remedies for Ear Infections- this gives a list of symptoms
and which homeopathic can help depending on the symptoms.
2. Childhood Ear Infection: Alternative to Antibiotics and Ear Tubes - another great resource about ear infections, underlying causes and natural treatments. It's lengthy but worth the read.
Below is a brief list of various homeopathic remedies for common symptoms. There are of course so many different remedies and symptoms out there. Two books that Renee highly recommends families to have in their household is called The Family Guide To Homeopathy by Dr. Andrew Lockie and Natural Baby and Childcare by Dr. Lauren Feder.
- Aconite: Sudden onset, exposure to cold, wind, shock, fear, croup, early stages of getting sick. Rosy and chubby babies.
- Apis: Bee stings, swellings, red (not lower than 30C during pregnancy)
- Arnica: Muscle soreness, aches & pains, bruising, surgery, working out, trauma
- Arsenicum: Food poisoning, stomach flu, restlessness, anxious, diarrhea
- Belladonna: High fever, hot, red, throbbing (headache). Ear infections for right side, night terrors, incoherent, jarring pain. Sturdy, vigorous child.
- Chamomilla: Colic, teething (wants to be carried, but refuses what's offered), calming
- Gelsemium: Flu, dull headache, stage fright, trembling, fear of DDS
- Hypericum: Nerve pain, esp. fingers & toes, pulling, tearing, shooting pains
- Ipecac: Active vomiting
- Ledum: Insect, spider bites. Puncture wounds.
- Nux Vomica: Nausea, vomiting, sensitive to environment (hangovers), headache (lack of sleep). Overindulgence (clearing from liver). This is also good to give a child before and after a situation that disconnects them from their environment.
- Phytolacca: Breast infections. Sore throat, swollen glands.
- Pulsatilla: Emotional, weeping (depressed). Engorgement. Easy, changeable, crave affection. Shy child, sleeps with hands above head.
- Sulphur: skin conditions that are dry and itchy, rashes, eczema and psorriasis. A good topical remedy is Fluorosone cream.
- Thuja: Warts. After vaccinations.
I also wanted to list something that Renee mentioned that evening which doesn't have anything to do with homeopathics but was a very helpful tip. It is a remedy for arthritis and it is peanut oil, as suggested by Edgar Cayce. As stated in the Edgar Cayce readings: "The primary use of peanut oil in the Cayce readings was as a massage oil ingredient. It was described as a "food for the nerves AND muscular forces" and a specific preventive measure against arthritis."
After the presentation was over, the parents reunited with their children (who were playing in the other room with the caregivers). We ended the evening with a delicious feast and connected with new villagers. Not only did we welcome 2011 with new families but by the end of the evening, FLV had a new sanctuary to call our own at the Yogi Tree Studio. Excitement and gratitude filled my heart that night! It was a perfect ending to a new beginning for FLV.